Monday, February 27, 2006

Internationalism or Isolationism

Hillary Clinton is confused. She doesn't know whether or not she wants the United States to be Internationalist or Isolationist.

Speaking to the Council on Foreign Relations on Dec 15, 2003 she had this to say:

We need a tough-minded, muscular foreign and defense policy, one that not only respects our allies and seeks new friends as it strikes at known enemies, but which is understood and supported by the majority of the American people. The consequences of unilateralism, isolationism and overtly expressed preemptive defense, I think, are severe. We will end up with fewer nations, fewer intelligence services and fewer law enforcement personnel internationally helping to protect us against attacks, fewer nations helping to counterattack when we are struck, and less leverage in advancing democracy, freedom, open markets and other values that we believe elevate the people of the world even as they protect our people here at home.

This is not to propound some golden rule of international affairs, because I think it's rooted in the intelligence and the success of the 20th century. The more we throw our weight around, the more we encourage other nations to join with each other as a counterweight. We have a lot of problems besides Iraq and Afghanistan on the horizon. The number one problem remains the spread of weapons of mass destruction and those falling into the hands of either rogue nations or borderless terrorists. And so we have to have a united front of the world that cares about life more than death; that consists of builders instead of destroyers, standing together, fighting together, working together.

Then just last week Hillary and Democratic Senator Robert Menendez (N.J.) announced that they plan to introduce legislation barring the sale of port operations to foreign governments.

That's right. All foreign governments. So I'm guessing that when Hillary said that we have to be "builders instead of destroyers, standing together, fighting together, working together" she should have added "unless you are a foreign company".

Now I will admit that on a gut level the thought of an Arab company running some ports makes me nervous. Does that make me islamophobic, or a racist, or an isolationist? Nope it makes me human. We were attacked by radical islamists on 9/11 and are currently fighting a global war on terror against more radical islamists. So the thought of doing business with Arabs makes a lot of people nervous. But not all Arabs are Muslim and not all Muslims are radical Islamists.

So I suspect that eventually this business deal is going to go through on way or another. But in case it doesn't, I would like to recommmend that they contract be awarded to APM Terminals of Denmark which is part of the shipping giant AP Moller Maersk Group, a publicly traded company that is controlled by the Moller family of Denmark.

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